China’s area probe sends again first picture of Mars, touchdown scheduled this 12 months

China’s area probe sends again first picture of Mars, touchdown scheduled this 12 months

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China’s Tianwen-1 probe has despatched again its first picture of Mars, the nationwide area company stated, because the mission prepares to the touch down on the Pink Planet later this 12 months.

The spacecraft, launched in July across the identical time as a rival US mission, is predicted to enter Mars orbit round February 10.

The black-and-white picture launched late Friday by the China Nationwide House Administration confirmed geological options together with the Schiaparelli crater and the Valles Marineris, an unlimited stretch of canyons on the Martian floor.

The picture was taken about 2.2 million kilometres (1.4 million miles) from Mars, in line with CNSA, which stated the spacecraft was now 1.1 million kilometres from the planet.

The robotic craft ignited one in every of its engines to “make an orbital correction” Friday and was anticipated to decelerate earlier than being “captured by Martian gravity” round February 10, the company stated.

The five-tonne Tianwen-1 features a Mars orbiter, a lander and a rover that may research the planet’s soil.

China hopes to in the end land the rover in Could in Utopia, a large affect basin on Mars.

Billions of {dollars}

After watching the US and the Soviet Union paved the way in the course of the Chilly Struggle, China has poured billions of {dollars} into its military-led space programme.

It has made large strides prior to now decade, sending a human into area in 2003.

The Asian powerhouse has laid the groundwork to assemble an area station by 2022 and achieve a everlasting foothold in Earth orbit.

However Mars has proved a difficult goal to this point, with most missions despatched by the US, Russia, Europe, Japan and India to the planet since 1960 ending in failure.

Tianwen-1 shouldn’t be China’s first try to succeed in Mars.

A earlier mission with Russia in 2011 ended prematurely because the launch failed.

China has already despatched two rovers to the Moon. With the second, China turned the primary nation to make a profitable comfortable touchdown on the far facet.

All programs on the Tianwen-1 probe are in “good situation,” CNSA stated Friday.


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